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How To Make a Power of Attorney in Mississippi FAQ

Written by: Catherine Hodder, Esq. , Senior Legal Writer
Reviewed by: Jordan Walker, J.D. , Legal Writer
Last updated May 16, 2024

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A power of attorney is a critical document to have if you have a sudden disability or incapacity. Your attorney in fact can handle your legal and financial matters when you can’t. Learn about Mississippi power of attorney documents and how to create a valid POA in Mississippi.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) in Mississippi is a legal document that allows a person (the principal) to designate another person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) to make decisions on behalf of the principal concerning financial, legal, and health matters. There are different types of power of attorney documents. A financial power of attorney covers financial and legal matters. A health care directive covers medical decisions, treatments, and end-of-life care.

You can have a power of attorney for convenience if you want help with certain transactions like a real estate transaction. Or you can give someone general authority to act in your place if you have a sudden incapacity and can’t manage your affairs. They can do more things, such as pay bills, file tax returns, and manage your real estate. If you can’t manage your affairs and don’t have a power of attorney, your family members must go to court and have them name a conservator to manage your affairs. Having named someone you trust in your power of attorney document avoids needing a conservatorship.

Who Can Be My Attorney in Fact?

Anyone who is an adult and competent can serve as your attorney in fact. Many people name a family member, friend, attorney, or accountant. When choosing an attorney in fact, look for someone responsible, organized, and, above all, trustworthy. Although an attorney in fact has a fiduciary duty to act in good faith and the best interest of the principal, remember they have broad control over a principal’s money and property.

It is not a good idea to name more than one attorney in fact. If they must act jointly, they may disagree, or if they act independently, they may contradict each other’s actions. Instead, name one person as your primary attorney in fact with another person as the backup or successor to the attorney in fact. If your first attorney in fact can’t serve, your second choice can step in.

What Can My Attorney in Fact Do in Mississippi?

You decide what authority you want your attorney in fact to have. For example, you may want your attorney in fact to manage your bank accounts, handle your investments, or buy and sell property. You may grant your attorney in fact the authority to handle transactions involving:

  • Real property (real estate)
  • Tangible personal property (personal possessions)
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Commodities and options
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Operation of entity or business
  • Insurance and annuities
  • Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests
  • Claims and litigation
  • Personal and family maintenance
  • Benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service
  • Retirement plans
  • Tax matters

There are other powers to consider that have the potential to reduce your estate. Why would you want your attorney in fact to do that? It’s possible you may want to lower your estate taxes or be able to qualify for government programs such as Social Security or Medicaid. These powers could be to:

  • Create, amend, revoke, or terminate any living trust
  • Make a gift
  • Create or change rights of survivorship
  • Create or change a beneficiary designation
  • Authorize another person to exercise the authority granted under the power of attorney
  • Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
  • Waive the principal’s right to be a beneficiary of a joint and survivor annuity, including a survivor benefit under a retirement plan
  • Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
  • Disclaim or refuse an interest in property, including a power of appointment

Think about what powers you want your attorney in fact to have and talk with them about how you want them to manage your money and property.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney in Mississippi?

durable power of attorney in Mississippi means it continues to be effective even when the principal is incapacitated. Under Mississippi code §87-3-105, a durable power of attorney must contain language such as “This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal, or lapse of time” or “This power of attorney shall become effective upon the disability or incapacity of the principal” or similar words indicating durability.

When Is the Power of Attorney Effective?

A Mississippi power of attorney is effective as soon as it is signed unless the document specifies a different effective date or condition, such as the principal’s incapacity.

When Does the Power of Attorney End?

Your power of attorney ends at your death or if you revoke it during your lifetime. It will also end if you are incapacitated, and you have a non-durable POA. Your POA can also end on a termination date you specify in the document.

If your attorney in fact is unable or unwilling to serve and your agent’s authority ends. If you do not have a backup or successor to the attorney in fact, your power of attorney terminates. That is why you should name a backup attorney in fact.

Does Mississippi Have a Statutory Power of Attorney?

No. There is no standard Mississippi power of attorney form. You can either create a power of attorney yourself tailored to your situation or hire an estate planning attorney.

Can I Make My Own Power of Attorney in Mississippi?

Yes. Before you make a financial power of attorney, you should know who you want as your attorney in fact and what powers you want them to have. Many people use state-specific online estate planning forms that conform to Mississippi state laws. However, if you have questions about power of attorney documents and attorneys in fact, reach out to estate planning attorney for legal advice.

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How Do I Make My Power of Attorney Valid in Mississippi?

You must be an adult and mentally competent to make a power of attorney. Your POA must be in writing and signed by you.

Do I Have to Notarize My Power of Attorney in Mississippi?

Although no specific statute requires notarization, it is standard practice to sign your power of attorney in front of a notary public. A notarization authenticates that you voluntarily signed your power of attorney.

What Should I Do After Signing My Power of Attorney?

Once you sign and notarize your power of attorney, give copies to your attorney in fact and any third parties, such as your bank or financial institution. Keep your original POA in a safe place. A third party may require an agent certification form in which your attorney in fact verifies that your power of attorney is effective, and they can serve as your attorney in fact.

Does an Attorney in Fact Get Paid in Mississippi?

Your attorney in fact may be entitled to reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred under your power of attorney. However, your attorney in fact may only be entitled to reasonable compensation for their time if you authorize it in your power of attorney.

Is My Mississippi Power of Attorney Valid in Another State?

Yes. Generally, a Mississippi power of attorney created and executed according to Mississippi law will be recognized in other states. However, many states require notarized signatures on the power of attorney documents, so it is a good idea to make sure you sign your Mississippi POA in front of a notary.

Can I Revoke My Mississippi Power of Attorney?

Yes. You can revoke your power of attorney document at any time if you are mentally competent. To revoke your power of attorney, make a written statement of revocation and give copies to your attorney in fact, and all others who relied on your original POA.

What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have in Mississippi?

To complete your estate plan, consider two other estate planning documents in addition to a financial power of attorney.

health care directive combines a healthcare power of attorney with a living will or advance directive. In this directive, you choose someone as your agent to get your medical records and information, talk to providers, and make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself. You can also give instructions on what life-prolonging measures you want to be given or withheld if you have an end-stage illness or terminal condition.

last will and testament is your instructions on how you want to distribute your property, who you want to manage your estate, and who you want to care for your minor children. If you don’t have a will, called “dying intestate,” a probate court distributes your property according to state intestacy laws. They also must determine who should take care of your children, and you may not like their choice. Keep control over the decisions about your loved ones and property by making a will.

Fortunately, using online templates to create a valid power of attorney and other Mississippi estate planning documents is easy.

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